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The Expanse - It Reaches Out - Review



Only on The Expanse can viewers expect multiple finale type endings in one season! After the emotionally fulfilling conclusion of the events of the second book two weeks ago, The Expanse delivered an explosive ending this week that could very well have closed off the season.

My heart felt like it was in my throat in those last five minutes as the fake Holden message was broadcasted and the missiles fired at the Rocinante. What a brilliantly staged and written scene, one that took the events from the book and elevated the tension a hundredfold.

In the novel, Abaddon's Gate, Holden assumes that going through the ring slowly will be safe because, why not, they're going to die anyway if they stick around. The slight change in the TV series improved the situation, where the proto-Miller hints to Holden about how to safely enter, followed by Holden trying to figure out his cryptic message in time - tension built upon tension. It was also a very emotionally packed scene where Holden asks Amos to trust him, for once, and they stare at each other through the closed door like Spock and Kirk in Wrath of Khan.

Most of the episode involved Holden's descent into madness as he tried to figure out the reason for his vision of Miller. All of this perfectly built up to the final moments, giving a reason for the crew to actually question his involvement with the message that put all targets on them.

Strait hasn't been the strongest actor in the cast, thus far, but he has been doing wonders this season from bringing out the reluctant hero in Holden at the beginning of the season to his descent into madness this episode. Him figuring out how to enter the gate felt so much more rewarding after what the character experienced since the first vision of Miller.

The detective himself was a welcome return to the cast. Thomas Jane is always a joy, even when in this episode his character was just a non-sensical, mumbling shell of who Miller really is. What we learn was subtle, he is a manifestation of the protomolecule goo left under the ships floorboards, sent to investigate human interference in the newly formed ring. But there is so much more to explore with this intriguing refresh of his character.

Elsewhere on the ship, Monica continued to be an intriguing character. Her and her cameraman's presence, the latter of which is clearly working with Melba, has added a refreshing dynamic to the Rocinante. Anna Hopkins is perfectly cast as Monica - her wide, expressive eyes brought out the provocativeness of her exchanges with the crew, especially in this episode as she read Holden psychologically.

On top of Monica, there are plenty of strong women being developed this season. Chief among them is Drummer, who sadly was forced to play the political game she tried so hard to avoid. Drummer's decision to fire on the Rocinante was surprising, but understanding due to her propensity to put the Belt first, on top of the fact of her life being on the line.

Ashford continues to be shady, despite his advice always being right, and how can you not like him for that charming toast to the rockhopper Maneo, Anderson Dawes, and Fred Johnson.

A not so likeable female character thus far though is Pastor Anna, who wasn't all too intriguing in the book either. The show feels like it stalls with all of her scenes. Her inclusion does make sense to the story - showing us the theological side of space exploration - a fresh perspective, no doubt, but one that feels like a bit of a lull. Here's hoping her encounter with Melba, a sure catalyst for future interactions, will help spice up her storyline.

Speaking of Melba,The Expanse has done a great job off the bat making her a sympathetic villain. One who kills violently to achieve her agenda, but not without remorse, at least for Ren who she clearly respected. How Melba gains her superpower was well explained in the book, but harder to show on the screen, and though it probably still is a bit confusing for non-book readers, we get some idea that it is definitely not by natural means. Patience is key to not only figuring out how she can be so strong but also who she is and what her agenda is for blowing up the Seung Un and framing Holden. Her character certainly is a very intriguing wildcard.

Overall, 'It Reaches Out' was yet another explosive entry of this relentlessly exciting Season 3. The show does not know how to slow down one bit, and if Miller's advice about the room eating you if you go too fast means anything, then viewers must start to prepare themselves. The show can't possibly get any tenser than the final moments of this episode, but with a few episodes left, it looks like this is only a taste of what is to come.




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